Monday, November 03, 2008
My Daddy and My Baby Girl
My dad died when I was not quite 10, just 2 months before my 10th birthday. That was 21 years ago. It's been a long time. I've been through all the stages of grief more times than I can count. It seems that this year I miss my dad more than I have in a long time--and it's related to my baby girl. Baby Girl was due about a week after the anniversary of my dad's death. I kind of thought she would be born on that date, but she surprised us by coming a full month early. She takes after me and my dad by having sensitive skin. We realized very early that instead of helping diaper rash, Desitin made it worse. So, we decided to try A&D ointment. My dad had been a mail carrier and so the winter was particularly rough on his skin and he used A&D cream to help. As I was particularly hormonal shortly after Baby Girl's birth and used this ointment, I would hold her close and smell her and think, "Daddy." I would have never have thought I missed the smell of my dad until then. And there's something else too...something that is so hard for me to articulate and seems like bad theology, but it feels so real. When I snuggle with my Baby Girl, when she 'kisses' me (or slobbers on me as the case may be), when she 'hugs' me (or I hug her and she doesn't resist), I feel like my dad knows her--that he sent hugs and kisses from him for me from heaven. I believe Baby Girl is a gift from God, that God knit her together, that God knows her and loves her. I believe that God knows my dad and loves him and I believed that before Baby Girl. But I miss my dad so much and so maybe it's wishful thinking, but I feel like my dad knows Baby Girl and through her has sent me a message of love. Is that crazy?